Changing Viewpoints: Retell a Story

graphicstock-happy-child-standing-upside-down-on-green-grass-laughing-kid-having-fun-in-spring-park-healthy-lifestyle-concept_rLMC_f-Nix_thumbCreative fluency is improved when we can see an issue, object or person from more than one viewpoint. When we get stuck in looking at things from one point of view or in only one context, we limit the possible ideas and solutions we may find. On a social/emotional level, seeing things from different angles helps develop empathy and understanding of those who are different from ourselves. As children grow, they will find themselves in opposition to others many times and perhaps even in formal debates on important issues. They need to be flexible rather than entrenched in their positions in order to seek out the best solutions and courses of action.

Imaginative play is one of the very best ways for children to change viewpoints as they pretend to be adults, animals, and many other entities they cannot yet be in “real life.” Retelling a story can be a form of imaginative play when we use different lenses, like the elements of the Sensory Alphabet, to use a new viewpoint to tell a familiar story.

Objectives for Children:

  • To practice taking on different points of view.
  • To practice seeing and modifying the same story from each element of the Sensory Alphabet.

Process:

  • Tell a traditional/familiar story.
  • The first time the story is told, employ the Shared Reading Process as much as possible.
  • Each next time the story is retold, use a new element of the Sensory Alphabet (or other new viewpoint) to modify the story.
  • Ask children to explore and interact with the story and the new element.
  • Help the children discuss differences between different retellings.

 

Outline of

SHARED READING

(For more detail, see blog, “Everybody Read!”)

P R I M E   T H E   M I N D

BEFORE READING:

  • “Make a Personal Connection” to the main idea.
  • Ask children to predict what the book might be about.

DURING READING

  • Have children choral read a repeating word/phrase.
  • Have children imitate words, actions or sounds in the selection.
  • Ask children to predict what will happen next.

AFTER READING

  • Ask children to give a reaction.

I N V E N T

  • Ask children to retell the book, especially the main idea, using different media.
  • Engage in writing or other creative activities related to the main idea.

R E F L E C T

  • Ask children what activities they liked the best and record their answers.

 

Example:

THE LITTLE RED HEN

Once upon a time there lived a little red hen on a farm. One day, she discovered some corn seeds on the ground. She asked the other animals, “Who’ll help me plant this corn?”

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Not I,” said the pig.

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the little red hen.

She carefully planted the seeds in the ground and after a long time, the seeds grew into tall cornstalks.

“Who’ll help me harvest this corn?” she asked the other animals.

images“Not I,” said the duck.

“Not I,” said the pig.

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the little red hen.

Little by little she used her beak to pull out the large ears of corn.

“Who’ll help me shuck this corn?” she asked.

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Not I,” said the pig.

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the little red hen.

She pulled off the corn shucks and picked out the corn silks.

“Who’ll help me grind this corn?” she asked the others.

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Not I,” said the pig.

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the little red hen.

She cut the dry kernels from each ear and ground them into a flour.

“Who will help me cook tortillas?”

“Not I,” said the duck.

“Not I,” said the pig.

“Not I,” said the cat.

“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the little red hen.

She patted and flattened little balls of corn meal into tortillas and placed them on the stove to cook. Soon a lovely aroma filled the air.

“Who will help me eat these tortillas?” she asked the other animals.

“I will!” said the duck.

“I will” said the pig.

“I will” said the cat.

“No!” said the little red hen. You did not help me plant. You did not help me harvest. You did not help me shuck. You did not help me cook. And you will not help me eat!”

She called all her little chicks and they had a lovely supper together.

VIEWPOINTS

child-girl-standing-upside-down-her-head-happy-grass-summer-59361495Space: Model or draw spaces for each of the animals in the story.

Shape: Model or tear paper to make each animal and put them in the spaces.

Sound: Sing the story and include animal sounds.

Rhythm: Instead of saying the dialogue, clap the syllables. For example: “Who will help me plant my seed?” has 7 syllables; “Not I!” has 2.

Movement: Retell the story as an alternation between a “busy” dance for the Little Red Hen and a “lazy” dance for the other animals.

Line: Draw a long line to show the plot of the story.

Texture: Find different textures to represent different animals in the story.

Color: Make colorful animal masks and use them to act out the story.

Light: Turn a light on the puppets. Turn the light off for a few seconds each time the little red hen says, “Then I’ll do it myself.”

Other viewpoints:

Retell the story from the point of view of the duck, pig or cat. (You might read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszha for inspiration.)

Retell the story from the point of view of the chicks.

Retell the story from the point of view of the corn.

Retell the story from the point of view of the farmer.

Retell the story from the point of view of an alien from outer space.

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